Don’t be an MBA Fanboy - Ask Tough Questions!

MBA Research Tough Questions

I can understand how a current student praises the MBA program through student blogs, social media, and other interactions. However, a recent trend that I have seen in some message boards is the die-hard fandom of MBA aspirants. Most of them have just finished their GMAT, and have decided to apply to an MBA program. But they are already big fans of some MBA programs!

Fandom is not a disease but it is irrational. When you are making $150,000 to $200,000 decisions, last thing that should influence you are irrational thoughts. If you have gone through student blogs, 90% of them will be about the ‘awesome experience’, ‘the amazing professors’, and ‘the great opportunity’ that lie ahead for all MBAs. Some message boards are filled with a few sour grapes who bash the Business School on every given opportunity, just because they did not fully understand the value of the MBA program, and overestimated the return on investment.

The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Talk to the Alumni

While I was shortlisting Business Schools, my decision - not to pursue an MBA, and instead start F1GMAT was influenced by a close friend of mine, and 2-3 alumni. I was looking for an Entrepreneurial MBA program and through my interactions with Business School representatives, started believing that an MBA would help me become an entrepreneur. This is true only in cases where you need large Venture Capital support. For all others, you can bootstrap your Business to a large degree, and with a few angel investors, grow the Business to a reasonable size, organically.

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Top 5 MBA Joint Degree Programs (2017)

MBA and Joint Degree ProgramsJoint degrees are a convenient way for professionals to obtain  expertise in two disciplines in a short period of time. MBA Joint degrees work best for those seeking to work in a niche field as a manager or as an executive.

The biggest advantage of a joint degree program is that students can effectively complete two programs in less time than it would take to do both separately. The class sizes are also smaller, and the program normally covers unique subjects, with projects that involve both disciplines.

The selection process usually involves clearing the admission process of both schools, and showcasing a track record or qualification that indicates a strong affinity to the field chosen. Here are the top five Joint degree programs with an MBA.

1) Stanford


Stanford's JD/MBA is among the oldest joint-degree programs in the US. Beyond the learning from both management and law, students also get to experience two very different cultures - the problem-analyzing culture of law, and the problem-solving culture of business. It is ideal for a career in law or public service.

Duration: 48 Months

MA Education/MBA

The 40-year old Joint MA/MBA program gives students the opportunity to concurrently pursue an MA from the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and a MBA from the Graduate School of Business (GSB). It is ideal for a career in educational management. It usually takes 2 years (6 quarters) to complete the program, but it can be extended by one quarter if necessary.

Duration: 2...

Scoring GMAT 700: Why Learning Goals are Important than Performance Goals

Categories : GMAT Preparation

GMAT Performance Learning GoalsSetting 700+ performance goal for your GMAT exam is essential. However, studies by Gary P. Latham, Gerard Seijts and Dan Crim on The Effects of Learning Goal Difficulty Level and Cognitive Ability on Performance show that when the participants are focused on higher learning goals than higher performance goals the potential to reach their goals is higher. This is true only in the initial stages of the learning process.

When you are in the initial stages of GMAT prep, setting higher GMAT score goals will motivate you to start the process, but that does not guarantee a higher performance. A motivational self-talk to do your best in the initial stages of preparation (First 1.5 months in a 3 Month Schedule) will result in better performance than setting concrete goals. Why do we experience a contradiction when statistics have proved that concrete goals improve our performance?

Knowledge Acquisition

The contradiction arises when we consider the knowledge level of the test taker. For example, if the GMAT test taker has a sound foundation in GMAT Math and is weak in GMAT Sentence Correction, setting performance goals like increasing accuracy from 75% to 85% doesn’t lead to higher motivation or better performance. Most test takers will perform poorly. Performance goals create tunnel vision and test takers will lose perspective on the strategies, and the process of knowledge acquisition required for improved performance.   


US News Top Business Schools (2017)

After evaluating 417 MBA programs, US News has released the 2018 Business School ranking. The top spot is a tie between Harvard and Wharton – both enrolling over 1700 full-time students. Booth took the third position while for the fifth position there is a three-way tie between MIT Sloan, Kellogg School of Management and Stanford.

The publication has also created rankings based on specialties that include: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Information Systems, International, Management, Marketing, Nonprofit, Production / Operations, and Supply Chain / Logistics.

Overall Ranking
#1 Harvard University
#1 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
#3 University of Chicago (Booth)  
#4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
#4 Northwestern University (Kellogg)
#4 Stanford University
#7 University of California—Berkeley (Haas)
#8 Dartmouth College (Tuck)
#9 Columbia University
#9 Yale University

Ranking by Specialities


#1 University of Texas—Austin (McCombs)
#2 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
#3 University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign
#4 University of Chicago (Booth)
#5 University of Michigan—Ann Arbor (Ross)

#1 Babson College (Olin)
#2 Stanford University
#3 Harvard University
#3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
#5 University of California—Berkeley (Haas)

#1 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
#2 University of Chicago (Booth)
#3 New York University (Stern)
#4 Columbia University
#5 Stanford University

Information Systems
#1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
#2 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
#3 University of Texas—...

IMD vs INSEAD MBA: Comparison based on Size, Ranking, Class Profile, Curriculum, Post MBA Jobs & 11 Other Factors

IMD vs INSEAD MBAIMD and INSEAD MBA programs seem to be different tier programs, but both MBAs are often shortlisted by aspirants who are planning to get into a top program in Europe. Let us look at eleven factors and compare the MBA programs.

1) Size

The primary difference between the two programs is the class size. IMD is targeted for a select few with just 90 students selected every year for the Full-time MBA Program. INSEAD Full-time MBA accepts over 1000 students.

2) Location

IMD’s Campus is located in Lausanne, a french-speaking City in Switzerland. It is just 62km from Geneva, one of the Financial Centers in the world. The largest employment opportunity in Lausanne is for the services sector, followed by manufacturing and processed goods sector. INSEAD, on the other hand, has a three-campus structure: Fontainebleau (Main Campus), Singapore and Abu Dhabi. With this structure, students can leverage the strengths of each of the locations – Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Insead > IMD

3) Ranking

When you compare the average rank from three major rankings: Financial Times Global MBA Ranking, and The Economist Full-time MBA Ranking, INSEAD MBA program scored an average rank of 7 against IMD’s 22 with Insead at #1 for the latest Financial Times Global MBA ranking.

IMD vs Insead MBA Ranking

Ranking: Insead > IMD


Insead vs LBS MBA: Comparison Based on Location, Cost, Duration, Ranking, Profile & the Famous Finance vs Consulting Debate

Insead vs LBSLondon Business School (LBS) and INSEAD Business School offer MBA programs that are ranked among the best in the world.  The quality of the students, the teaching methodology, curriculum, faculty expertise, networking opportunities and employment statistics have contributed towards the rise of these two giants among the MBA elites.

1) Location

LBS is located in London, which has been consistently voted as the best European City to live. The school campus is located next to Regent’s Park, the epicenter for experiencing London's history, art, and culture. 43 Universities in the City earned London the title as the ‘largest concentration of higher education in Europe.’  In addition to that, over 75% of Fortune 500 companies have their offices in the city.

INSEAD’s main campus is located in Fontainebleau, 34 miles away from Central Paris. Students will experience a peaceful environment, isolated from the hustle of the city. It is not far off from the renowned Forest of Fontainebleau. The highly integrated transportation system in France allows students to take a quick detour to Paris - the fashion capital of the world. 

A clear advantage that INSEAD has over LBS is the three-campus structure that allows MBA students to pick the campus according to their convenience and post-MBA goals. The other campuses are in Singapore and Abu Dhabi.  For students who feel that their post-MBA career prospects would mostly be in Asia, INSEAD is a better choice than LBS.

Insead > LBS
Networking (City): LBS > Insead

2) Ranking

Why Kellogg’s MBA in Marketing is the Best

Kellogg MBA in MarketingIn 1909, North Western University taught the world's first ever courses in advertising, sales, and marketing. The head start has ensured that Kellogg School of Management now hosts the best MBA course for marketing. It offers world-renowned faculty, unique curriculum, fresh teaching methodologies, two Marketing majors and a host of facilities to make it the world's ultimate marketing degree. While most schools focus on leadership skills, the Kellogg MBA program nurtures team playing skills and provides an environment that requires collaborating with people from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds.


The learning environment for marketing is built around world-class faculty. The Marketing Department is the leading contributor of textbooks on the three pillars of marketing — Management, Distribution, and Promotions. Kellogg faculty has already published 52 books on marketing. Marketing's most respected names Philip Kotler and Louis Stern are among the well-known faculty. Kotler's Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, Implementation and Control, is a recommended textbook for marketing in most management schools in the world.

The Teaching Methodology

The teaching methodology at Kellogg is a unique mix of lectures, case study, and group work; there is a distinct focus on experiential learning with the corporate sector's support. Students are provided with many means of obtaining a global perspective. Part of their course can be completed at 36 partner institutions across the world that include schools like Australian School of Business, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Indian School of Business, INSEAD and SDA...

MBA: Canadian Visa Rules

Categories : MBA in Canada

Although the Trudeau government has rechristened the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the rules for MBA and post-graduate International students have remained the same. For MBA students, the route to finding opportunities is through the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program.

When should you apply (PGWP)?

Within 90 days of completing your courses, you should apply for PGWPP, confirming that you have met the minimum requirements (Course Credit, Grades) for the academic program. For Business Schools, the date of completion will be different from the date of convocation. Don’t wait till the official ceremony. Apply when your student visa is valid.

How many years (months) is the PGWP valid?

The rule is simple – you cannot get PGWP with validity longer than the program’s duration. If you are completing your 2-year Full-time MBA from say Rotman School of Management, the validity of the post-graduation work permit will be a minimum of three years.

PGWP Validity Canada
You are not eligible for PGWP if:

• You Availed the Canadian Common Wealth Scholarship Program(funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC))
• You are Part of the Government of Canada Awards Program (funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC))
• You Received Funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
• You are part of the Canada-Chile Equal Opportunity Scholarship
• You are part of the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program
• You are part of the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
• You are part of a Distance Learning Program within Canada


Top MBA in Australia (2017)

Categories : Top MBA

MBA in Australia Australia’s economy follows open-market policies that encourage global trade and investment. It is home to dynamic entrepreneurs and a buzzing private sector. What makes Australia particularly attractive to MBA graduates are the salaries, which are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region. MBAs in Australia working as Management Consultants earned the highest total salary of up to AU$195,442, followed by Business Development Managers (AU$143,941), Operations Manager (AU$135,129) and finally another popular post-MBA role, Marketing Managers, who earned AU$123,520 in total salary.

Post MBA Salaries Australia
Nearly 88% of the 4156 GMAT scores sent to Australia were from International students, proving that Australia is still one of the most popular destinations for students, especially from the Asia-Pacific region.  Here are our top three picks for the best MBA programs in Australia:

1) Australian School of Business (AGSM)

The Australian School of Business is located in Sydney, Australia’s financial capital. The school offers a 16-month MBA program and has all the traditional entry criteria, but one exception in the criteria makes it unique.  Exceptional professionals without an undergraduate degree get the chance to join the program - if they have 6 years’ experience and a GMAT score of at least 550. Candidates with at least 2 years of professional experience can also apply to the program.

The class of 2017 represents 17 countries, with just 37% made up of locals. For the graduating...

Curiosity - The Only Tool that you need for MBA Admissions

Our innate curiosity has made us a species that is dominant over all the animals. The “Why”, “When”, “What”, “Where”, and “How” questioning is useful not only for our daily lives but extremely useful for MBA Admissions. Each stage of the admission process requires us to ‘ask questions’.

Evaluating Business School Ranking

Business School ranking is one data that MBA applicants look closely before picking their top 5 schools. Unfortunately, applicants tend to switch off their curiosity when it comes to published ranking from leading news sources without questioning the data collection methodology, ranking criteria, and response rate.

One data that applicants have always assumed to be valid and thorough is the response rate. Most surveys get anywhere between 20-30% responses from the entire alumni pool. This is much worse than the average voter turnout in leading democracies – United States (48%) and India (58%). Citizens in these countries are vocal about the apathetic state of the election process, and quality of candidates. However, when it comes to a $75,000 to $200,000 decision, our ability to question data seems to be suppressed by the constant PR articles about Business School ranking.

Handling Questions in GMAT

A common challenge that applicants face during early GMAT preparation is answering the critical reasoning and data sufficiency (DS) questions. Process of Elimination in DS might help us to a certain extent but our...